Fire destroys Courtenay building amid toxic fumes

A fire involving toxic fumes destroyed the former Buckerfields building at McKenzie Avenue and Cumberland Road on Tuesday evening.

JUST’N TYME Greenhouse & Hydroponic Supply was destroyed by fire Tuesday.

JUST’N TYME Greenhouse & Hydroponic Supply was destroyed by fire Tuesday.

A fire involving toxic fumes destroyed the former Buckerfields building at McKenzie Avenue and Cumberland Road on Tuesday evening. Plumes of smoke could be seen throughout downtown Courtenay shortly after 6 p.m. as the fire ripped through the building that housed Just’n Tyme Greenhouse & Hydroponic Supply. According to police, there were explosions inside the building that contained chemicals and fertilizer.Firefighters were called out at about 6:15 p.m. The last truck left the station at 2:17 a.m.”Very stubborn fire,” deputy fire chief Kurt MacDonald said. “Just construction of the building. It did have a high fuel load in it, so made it difficult. We weren’t able to put any crews in initially, just because of how fast the fire developed.”Much of Cumberland Road and McPhee Avenue was closed off as firefighters battled the blaze with water and foam.”It’s definitely a longer fire,” MacDonald said. “We don’t get a lot of commercial fires, thank God.” Courtenay fire chief Don Bardonnex and another firefighter both suffered heat exhaustion. “He just got a little too hot,” MacDonald said. “It happens to the best of us…Just guys working too hard is what it boils down to.” One was treated at the scene and cleared to return while the other was checked at hospital before resuming duties. Comox Valley RCMP attended the blaze, the cause of which remains under investigation.”When you have a fire of that magnitude it’s better off to get all the agencies involved right off the ball, and then as you start to roll things out you can release those agencies,” MacDonald said. “Right now they (police) are the lead investigators on the fire. Once they’ve gone through it and determined the cause then they’ll take the appropriate course. It’s better to err on the side of caution and get everybody involved.”Police said there were many unco-operative bystanders who endangered their lives by placing themselves in harm’s way against the direction of authorities. A man was arrested for failing to follow police direction.Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321. Should the caller wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A little girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

John Ludlow is making leis for sale for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Celebrating kindness, joy and helping others on Lei Day

Ludlow is making leis for sale with proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

The Connect Warming Centre is located at 685 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. File photo
Potential new space for Courtenay warming centre falls through

The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness had hoped to move the… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read